Earlier this week I showed you the solid wood Adirondack chairs at our fire pit and they are nothing short of amazing. But I quickly realized that Rio, aka the best dog ever, didn't actually like sitting in them because of the way the seat slopes back. Apparently it is not puppy ergonomics approved.
Is this really a problem? Well...no, not really, since she generally prefers lying on the hard floor over a bed, but that's not the point. She's a big part of our family and since she is always outside when we are, including fire pit time, I decided she needed her own puppy spot. Will she actually use it? Probably not, but we all know that's not really the point.
The Inspired Workshop has several fantastic projects and I ran across their DIY Large Dog Bed Post while looking on Pinterest for inspiration and since I loved it, I decided to make my own instead of spending hours designing something that would probably end up looking similar. I could use the same paint as I did for the Adirondack chairs so it would match, customize it with Rio's name and add a cute bed (that stays inside when we aren't actively using it). The Inspired Workshop used fence pickets which is honestly pretty genius since they're 1) impervious to the elements and 2) super cheap. Voila! Too easy. And it cost me less than $50, including the plush pillow that I picked up from Ikea.
Quick Lesson: This project uses beveled edges to create clean lines at the corners (which means you'll need a miter saw that can make said cuts). If you know what a bevel is, great...if you're not quite sure what I'm talking about and are about to start googling, let me save you a few seconds and share a quick lesson and graphic courtesy of an instructables article.
A miter cut is made at an angle other than 90°, with the blade vertical.
A bevel cut is made with the blade tilted over.
A compound miter cut is a combination of a miter and bevel cut.
My Ryobi miter saw is a compound sliding miter saw meaning it can make pretty much any cuts my heart desires, making this project a breeze.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way, here's what you need:
Table saw (or circular saw with straight edge)
Compound miter saw
Drill with bits
Sandpaper (80 and 220 grit)
1 1/2" exterior pocket screws (16)
1" exterior pocket screws (4)
1" brad nails
(5) 6" wide x 6' long fence pickets
Step 1 - Cut the pieces.
6" wide x 6' long Fence Pickets Cut List:
2x2x8 Cut List:
If you're like me and have trouble visualizing where the beveled edges go, lay out the pieces and dry fit everything. From there you can see where the corners will line up and fit together.
Step 2 - Sand.
I know, I know, it's a dog bed, it's going to be outside, why bother sanding? I can't help it. Even though it will probably never be used, I wanted it to look nice and match our Adirondack chair color, so I needed the paint to go on evenly. So I followed my normal sanding routine, started with 80 grit and finished with 220. I won't judge you if you skip this step, just know your paint/stain might look a little less than perfect.
Step 3 - Pre-drill pocket holes for the frame.
Drill 1 1/2" pocket holes in the 2x2 front/back rails (H) and middle/bottom rails (I) as shown below.
Drill 1/2" pocket holes in the 7" fence picket slat (C) as show below.
Step 4 - Paint/Stain.
If you have read any of my other tutorials, you'll know that I like to do the main finishing of my pieces BEFORE assembling, especially when there are rails and slots that would be difficult to get a paint brush into to cover all the nooks and crannies. So I laid all my pieces out and applied a coat of Behr exterior enamel in 100mph satin finish, let it sit for two hours, sanded lightly and applied a second coat.
Step 5 - Assemble.
Start with the frame, attaching the back rail (H) to two legs (G), 2" from the end with 1 1/2" pocket screws. Add the left and right side rails (I) - I put 2" worth of scrap wood underneath to keep the rails level and attach with 1 1/2" pocket screws. Add the front rail (H), attaching the same way. Finally add the last 24" piece (I) directly in the middle of the frame, securing with 1 1/2" pocket screws.
Note: It doesn't matter if the pocket screws are facing in or out since they won't be visible either way.
Add the four full length bottom slats (F), securing with 1" brad nails at each edge and the middle.
Now it's time to start adding the slats. Start with (5) 34" slats for the back (A) - line the first one up with the frame, covering up the 2x2 and the pocket screws, attaching with wood glue and nails.. From there, add the other four slats, the last one (at the top) should be flush with the top of the legs. Take the last 34" slat (A) and cover the 2x2 frame at the front.
Add the left and right side slats in the same way, lining up the beveled corners, securing with nails.
Now all that's left is the front. Add the front top slats (E) on either side, lining each up with the corresponding top side slat. Attach each vertical support (C) to the top side slat with 1" pockets screws. Add the front middle slats (D), lining them up with the corresponding side slats. Attach to the vertical support using glue and nails.
Finally, add the 15" front flat board (J) in between the vertical supports - I painted this piece black for contrast. I added Rio's name in that same color (Behr's Little Black Dress) - if our chairs have our names on them, then Rio's should too! A pup deserves to feel special after all.
Now all that was left was to add a waterproof(ish) bed (I grabbed this one from Ikea) and aforementioned helper dog!
I think she likes it! Will she actually use it when we're fire-pitting? Uhhhh, probably not haha but that's okay, it's there if she changes her mind.
If you build your own puppy-firepit-awesomeness I'd love to see it Tag us at @reddesignedinteriors and #reddesignedtutorials...bonus points if it includes pictures of your dog. Happy building!
Love this idea but don't have time right now? Save this pin for later!